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Catch the health benefits of fish

Catch the health benefits of fish

By Kath Webb

Love it or hate it, fish is your health’s best friend. Low in fat, high in protein and rich in super-healthy omega-3 acids, it’s one of the best disease fighters around. We’re not squidding!

The best choices are fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, herring and pilchards. Just two portions a week reduces the risk of a wide range of health conditions:

Heart health

Learn from the Eskimos and eat more fish! Their diets are high in omega-3s from oily fish and they have very low incidence of heart disease. This is because the unsaturated fatty acids in oily fish lowers inflammation, keeps blood pressure healthy and reduces fat building up in the arteries. Fish also reduces the detrimental effect of mental stress on the heart.

It’s a no brainer

Think about it – fish helps your brain work better. The fatty acids help raise the level of serotonin, reducing depression. Fish also reduces levels of a protein linked to Alzheimer’s . The omega-3 fatty acids also seem to improve conditions such as ADHD, dementia and psychosis.

Lowers risk of cancer

Eating fish is among the healthy habits to cut cancer risk. A Swedish study showed people who ate no fish had up to triple the risk of developing prostate cancer. For additional protection eat shellfish such as lobster and crab which contain cancer-fighting selenium.

Halves arthritis risk

Omega-3s are fantastic for tackling chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. Just one portion of fish a week could more than halve your risk of rheumatoid arthritis, according to a recent Swedish study. 

Just like going to the gym, it’s the long-term commitment to eating fish which will reap the biggest benefits. So stop carping around and add fish to your weekly health regime!